Djimon Hounsou: Not a Household Name?
, the big-budget action flick directed by Michael Bay
, had blockbuster written all over it, but finicky moviegoers decide to skip the flick in favor of a certain candy man and some wedding crashers. To date, the film has grossed only $30 million, but we doubt that will keep one of its supporting stars, Djimon Hounsou
, down for long. The 41-year-old actor, who was nominated for an Oscar for 2002's In America
, tells TVGuide.com that he's already got his next role in his sights.
TVGuide.com: Since you usually tend to do quieter, indie kind of movies, were you skeptical about starring in an action film like The Island?
Djimon Hounsou: No, there's nothing wrong necessarily with being in a big action movie if you can be a part of great stories where your character has great arcs. There's nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with a picture of that nature. More of the world sees it than any of the indie films I've done so far. In other words, it's quite important for your career.
TVGuide.com: So are you trying to become a household name?
Hounsou: You have to be somewhat productive in the field, in acting. It's like [being] an artist: a painter has to sell more paintings to make a living and paint to nurture his soul, to do what he loves.
TVGuide.com: What are you working on now?
Hounsou: I'm shooting a film called Eragon in Eastern Europe. It's a fantasy; a kid [20-year-old Christopher Paolini] wrote this book.
TVGuide.com: There is buzz that Eragon could be the next Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings.
Hounsou: I will be playing [a] warrior. It's going to be fun.
TVGuide.com: Anything else on your radar?
Hounsou: There's something else that I'm crossing my fingers on and I can't really say much about because it's with a great, great, talented young actor — [Leonardo] DiCaprio, who has so much talent for a young man, he just surprises you. You'd think he'd just keep playing clinical roles, just keep looking good, but he takes risks.
TVGuide.com: A lot of people loved you on ER [in the recurring role of Mobalage]. Is there any chance you'll ever reprise that character again?
TVGuide.com: Are there any TV dramas that you watch now?
Hounsou: No, I haven't really had the time, being always on the go. I like making the time to really study for my character, so when it comes time to watch anything, it's too late.
TVGuide.com: What do you do to relax?
Hounsou: One of my favorite things to do is to ride my motorcycle, and just go on a long ride to just empty myself out. It's very therapeutic.